Heavy snow brings travel on 63 North to a halt - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Heavy snow brings travel on 63 North to a halt

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

IMBODEN, AR (KAIT) - As massive amounts of snow fell in Region 8, it made for hazardous driving conditions. Highway 63 North through Lawrence and Sharp counties was closed most of the day due to numerous accidents with trucks and cars.

The small town of Imboden was filled with parked cars and Semi's all hoping to move North. Imboden Assistant Fire Chief Jim Jones explained what was happening up ahead on the road.

Jones, " On Smith Curve there's a little valley up there and I think the first one got in the ditch was an 18 Wheeler and cars started piling up behind them and they just jack-knifed everywhere and the whole valley's full."

All those accidents meant that a whole lot of people weren't going anywhere.

Nathan and Alexa Gann were so close to home but couldn't get there.

Gann, "Got sent home from work and we're just trying to get home. Got from Jonesboro to 5 miles from the house."

Doug Meurer was trying to get to Ash Flat to get his wife.

Meurer, "I've only managed to get this far. I heard the roads was shut down up there and I pulled off here to find out what was going on and try to find another way to get through."

Chris Whelan and his wife had been sitting at the Imboden city limits for about 2 hours when I spoke with them. Whelan said he was from Wisconsin and was used to driving in snow. They were trying to get home to Cherokee Village.

Whelan, "This is the bad thing about driving Arkansas roads. It's all up and down and a lot of curves and you know you have to be careful."

The powdery snow that kept falling made the roads really slippery. I used tire chains on my news vehicle to give me a little added traction that others weren't getting. Up on Highway 115 a mammoth tow truck was spinning it's tires trying to get a chicken feed truck out of a ditch.

In fact the wrecker had snapped a couple of sets of chains trying to get up enough speed to pull the truck. Ahead of the wrecker a truck loaded with chicken was jack-knifed on the hill. Driver Paul Maples said he almost made it to the top.

Maples, "I knew I didn't have it made. I knew it was bad when I got up there and it stopped and I lost traction and I started sliding backwards."

Around 3:30 in the afternoon Highway 63 finally opened and Highway 115 was cleared up around 5. It obviously was a good day to be in the wrecker business and a bad day to be driving.

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